Last week was great. The major averages sprinted to the end, racking up 10% gains to end an ugly month. Today, back to reality. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a quick 249 points, or 2.8%, to 8,582. The S&P 500 index fell 27 points, or 3%, to 867, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 47 points, or 3%, to 1,487. Manufacturing gauges in China, the euro zone and Britain each showed significant drops, with the Chinese and British gauge dropping to record lows. This week, we expect plenty of bad U.S. economic data culminating in a dismal November unemployment number on Friday. The financials are leading the sell off and a sharp rebound last week. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup all had their numbers cut today. Citigroup is looking to sell their Japanese divisions. Prudential is down 8% even though Citigroup upgraded it and expects the company to earn $7 a share next year. GE is down 7% ahead of a webcast tomorrow regarding business. The shoppers were out in full force over the weekend spending a little less than last year, but it's not helping the sector. All the retailers are lower. The commodities are all lower. No production cuts from OPEC. The techs are lower as well. Yahoo is modestly higher on more rumors of a merger with Microsoft. After the first half an hour, the averages went from bad to worse. The Dow dropped over 350 points. The Nasdaq declined 67 points. Not much is working this morning. Unitedhealth Group reaffirmed numbers. The stock is up half a percent.
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